So…About that Roman Missal…

Happy Anniversary!  This past Tuesday marked the 49th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  What an amazing blessing for us to see the ways in which the Holy Spirit has worked in our Church since then!  And yet, it is said that it takes give or take 100 years to fully implement an ecumenical council!  As we are approaching the season of Advent, we anticipate taking the next big step in reaping all the fruits of the Council, the introduction of our third edition of the Roman Missal.

But if you’re like me, you probably have been pretty curious as to what this is all about.  I mean, what is the new translation?  Why do we need one?  Was there anything wrong with the way we’ve been doing things, that all of a sudden, we need something new?  What’s with the new vocabulary, and what the heck does “consubstantial” mean?  Well, I figured it would be a good idea to take a look at these things, and hopefully all of us can come to appreciate what’s going on with the Third Edition of the Roman Missal.

The name “Roman Missal” comes from the English translation of Missale Romanum, the name for the version of the Mass that was released for the entire world by Pope Paul VI in 1970.  But even today, the universal language of the Church is Latin, so the Missale Romanum had to be translated to English, which it was in 1973.  A new version of the Latin text came out in 1975 to fix a few things, and a third was released by Pope John Paul II in 2000.  So now, eleven years later, we’re finally getting around to translating the third edition into English.  There are a few things different about our new edition, with one of the most noticeable being the addition of extra saints into the liturgical calendar.  Some are
those made saints since 1975, like St. (Padre) Pio or St. Andrew Dung-Lac.  Others, like St. Catherine of Alexandria, are introduced as examples for Christian living.  There are also extra prefaces for our Eucharistic prayers, the reintroduction of some beloved feasts like Our Lady of Fatima and the Holy Name of Jesus, and more prayers for special needs and occasions.  But the big change for us in the English-speaking world is the different look we’ve taken in the way we translate things, so tune in next week for more!

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